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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2008 Apr;12(2):86-96. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Dyspnea experience in patients with lung cancer in palliative care.

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Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Box 457, S-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to describe the dyspnea experience and examine its relation to other symptoms, personal and health-related factors and its predictors in patients with lung cancer. The subjects were 105 patients diagnosed with lung cancer, approached when active anti-tumour treatment was closed. The patients completed a battery of questionnaires about several aspects of dyspnea experience, intensity of other symptoms and coping capacity. Medical data including performance status were obtained from medical records. Above 50% of the patients perceived dyspnea. Coping capacity, performance status and other symptoms correlated with different aspects of dyspnea experience. Dyspnea dimensions and activity-related dyspnea correlated with anxiety, depression, fatigue and cough as well as negatively to coping capacity. Performance status correlated with dyspnea intensity and activity-related dyspnea. Lower coping capacity predicted dyspnea; additional predictors were higher levels of anxiety and fatigue. Dyspnea in this group of patients was a complex experience, including physical and psychological aspects and should preferably be assessed in a comprehensive way. A nursing intervention to decrease dyspnea experience and anxiety could use knowledge from this study about the importance of coping capacity to better help patients with lung cancer to cope in their palliative phase of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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